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Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi and Niccolo Machiavelli

Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi and Niccolo Machiavelli: Patron, Client, and the Pistola fatta per la peste/An Epistle Written Concerning the Plague

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 296
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  • Book Info
    Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi and Niccolo Machiavelli
    Book Description:

    William J. Landon reveals Strozzi's influence on Machiavelli through wide-ranging textual investigations, and especially through Strozzi'sPistola fatta per la pestefor which Landon has provided the first ever complete English translation and critical edition.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9947-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. In Memoriam
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Ronald Martin Schoeffel
  5. Notes on Translations and Editions Used
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. Introduction: An Interpretive Essay
    (pp. 3-26)

    There are those Florentines who, in the course of their lives, were far more influential than their inauspicious legacies suggest. While one is not working entirely in the dark in researching such Florentines, investigation is carried out in peripheral Renaissance shadows.¹ In those twilight studies, buried in footnotes and phrases dropped in passing, one might come across Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi.² Traced back to their original sources, those notes and references reveal histories written by an excellent, detail-minded, humane, and often tender man;³ and they also shed light on a poet and playwright of some talent. Strozzi’s histories, plays, and...

  7. 1 The Life of Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi: An Overview
    (pp. 27-78)

    This account of Lorenzo Strozzi’s life is based, in part, upon theVitaof Strozzi that was written by his childhood tutor, Francesco di Antonio Zeffi da Empoli. Zeffi’sVitais the only document that covers Lorenzo’s youth, chronicling his life from roughly 1489 until the end of the summer of 1529 – the final months of the last Florentine republic. Unfortunately, in 1546 Zeffi died before he was able to complete his biography of Strozzi.¹ What we are left with, according to Zeffi’s account, is a biography of Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi that covers the formative and most active...

  8. 2 Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi and Niccolò Machiavelli
    (pp. 79-108)

    The chief questions I address in this chapter are: when did Niccolò and Lorenzo become familiar with one another? Why did Niccolò dedicate hisArteto Lorenzo? And why did they enter into what appears to have been a patron-client relationship that eventually produced thePistola?

    As discussed above, there are no surviving letters between Strozzi and Machiavelli, though Lorenzo is referred to several times in Niccolò’s private letters. Lorenzo first appears in Machiavelli’s private correspondence in 1509, but there is nothing in that letter to suggest that the two Florentines were in any way friendly with one another; they...

  9. 3 A History of the Pistola fatta per la peste: Its Manuscripts and Publication History, and a Close Reading of the Text
    (pp. 109-142)

    Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi’sPistolais a dark and perversely comedic literary exercise in self-fashioning with an equally interesting history in manuscript and in print form. If the patron-client relationship between Strozzi and Machiavelli produced thePistola, then it is essential to examine Strozzi’s plague tract from several angles. This chapter will touch upon, in turn, the manuscripts of thePistola, its print history, and the contents of Strozzi’s treatise. The task is a difficult one, but thePistola’s history, first in manuscript form and much later as a printed work, is fascinating. And while its content is often distasteful...

  10. Conclusion: Pistola, Patron, Client, and the Proposed Strozzi Marriage of 1525
    (pp. 143-154)

    The text and context of thePistola fatta per la pestetake us to the heart of the relationship between Niccolò Machiavelli and Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi – even in the absence of personal letters.¹ Strozzi’sPistolaallows its reader to see into the private thoughts of its author. By the same token it might have allowed Machiavelli, the work’s original transcriber, to share in the literary “self-fashioning” processes of his patron.²

    In the pages of thePistola, Lorenzo and Machiavelli were able to live as they could only have dreamt of living in the real and very harsh world...

  11. Figures
    (pp. 155-160)
  12. Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi’s Pistola fatta per la peste: An Italian Edition and an English Translation
    (pp. 161-210)

    Concentrated thought, several false starts, and excellent advice from a number of scholars, including Professor Brian Richardson, my friends Dr Simone Testa and Dr William Gartig, and a very fine and patient philologist at the University of Toronto, led me to construct a reading text of thePistola, primarily because a reading text will be the most useful for the largest number of readers. Because I wanted to increase this edition’s accessibility, I also produced an English translation that is found on the facing pages of the Italian reading text. I confess that I had some misgivings about producing a...

  13. Appendix 1: Banco Rari 29 Supplemental Transcriptions Related to, but Not Part of, the Pistola fatta per la peste
    (pp. 211-214)
  14. Appendix 2: Francesco Zeffi’s “Vita” of Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi
    (pp. 215-238)
  15. Appendix 3: A Recipe for an Antidote against the Plague by Mengo Bianchelli
    (pp. 239-240)
  16. Appendix 4: Niccolò Machiavelli’s Minuta di Provvisione per la Riforma dello Stato di Firenze L’Anno 1522
    (pp. 241-250)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 251-268)
  18. Index
    (pp. 269-277)